A Prayer when Friends Become Enemies

Chapter 46

Theme: A Prayer when Friends Become Enemies
Focus on: David and Ahithophel
Reading Portion(s): 2 Samuel 15:1–12, 30–37; 16:15–17:23
– Important Background Information
– Helps you find strength in God
What this article teaches you

There are times in life when the one you loved as a friend turned your enemy for no fault of yours. This causes much heartbreak and tension. What is more frightening is the prospect of this friend turning to attack you.

This is the time to pray rather than device schemes of attacking your friend. In a larger sense, this kind of praying can be made when those in authority turn against you too.


David had the unfortunate experience of his son Absalom turning against him. King David had to flee from his palace with a few of his faithful followers. While he was fleeing the news came to him that his faithful counsellor or advisor, Ahitophel, had turned against him and joined with his son in the conspiracy.


Immediately David prayed. He asked God to turn Ahitophel’s counsel into foolishness.


There are times in life when we too will be faced with such situations. People, who were our friends, our well wishers, suddenly turn our enemies. Since they had known us intimately they would know our strengths and weaknesses. If they join with our enemies they can easily create very destructive moments for us. The threat is very real. It can give us sleepless nights and tension of great magnitude.

David knew that he was in danger. Not only had his son turned against him but also he had the advice of the one he had trusted. That meant disaster was about to overtake him. Since he was fleeing he could do nothing to prevent Ahitophel from giving advice to the new king. Therefore he did the one thing he could do. He prayed that God would turn Ahitophel’s counsel into foolishness.


This is a prayer that we all can pray when such situations come into our life. When those who openly oppose the gospel of Jesus come to power and authority they usually give silent permission to those who persecute believers to do so. During those times this is the apt prayer that we can pray. We may not be able to get them out of power. God may not have that as His plan. But certainly we can pray that God would make their wrong plans come to ruin. He can make their evil plans come to nothing and cause it to recoil on themselves. All this can happen if we earnestly pray to God to turn their counsels into foolishness.

But David also understood that a good friend of his in the court can help this prayer come to pass. So he asked Hushai the Arkite to go back to the palace with the Ark of the Lord. David specifically told him to be there at the palace to frustrate the advice of Ahitophel. This Hushai did and was able to frustrate the good advice of Ahitophel. In fact, Absalom had earlier followed one of Ahitophel’s advice. If he had followed the second advice that he gave, it would have meant the certain death of David. But Hushai was able to destroy that advice with his advice and thus save David from sure death.


If God has given us some good people as friends in the places of influence use them to influence the decisions that are made in places of authority. This works along with the prayer to turn their evil counsels into foolishness; for God often uses a human agent to make this prayer come true.


So, the next time around, you find somebody scheming against you, instead of finding methods to destroy him, pray. Pray that God would turn his counsel into foolishness. Then if you have someone who would speak in your behalf see that he is there for you at the right time. Such is one of the ways in which God works for your good and safety.


Always remember this simple prayer, “Turn his counsel into foolishness!”